Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Thankful November ~ continued

Nov. 6 - Today I'm thankful for a "glimmer" of hope that we home school mom's live for!

We have a reluctant reader and writer in our family. Today, said reluctant reader/writer (of her own free will) composed a three page handwritten story about her arrival in America. And folks, this was NOT an assigned project!!!!! It came out of nowhere and was sprung on me in the car on our way to Wal-Mart.

Yes, I'm MOST thankful today for this little "spark" evidencing what we've always suspected was there but has been very closely guarded!

I've asked permission to post it on my blog, so it is now carefully and lovingly being typed out--watch for it on our adoption blog.


Kim said...

My own reluctant home schooled writer never enjoyed written assignments , but has written amazing self motivated compositions. He's working on an original screenplay right now. It's really good.

If I gave him an assignment to write a one act play, he'd balk.

I'm of the opinion the best writers don't respond well to canned assignments. They write what's inside them.

Kim from Hiraeth

Connie said...

kim: I think I can live with that, but just how does one get what's "inside" to come outside in order to complete required school work??????? :-)

I have a hard time fitting my "write what's inside" student into my "required curriculum" world! :-)

Right after I heard the paper read outloud I enthusiasticly told her that we'd count that as a school project--hoping she'd understand this is what we've been working toward for so long. But I have no idea when another paper might come out!!

Any words of wisdom here?????

max said...

It's true, I grew up hating to read. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries especially for boys 8 - 13, who also may not like to read.

NEWSPAPER CAPER, TERROR AT WOLF LAKE, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London.

My blog, Books for Boys, ranks in the top 5 on Yahoo and the top 20 on Google and you can find it at http://booksandboys.blogspot.com There you will also find links to my author's web site and another blog with 50 pages of reviews.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,

Max Elliot Anderson

Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.

Kim said...

how does one get what's "inside" to come outside in order to complete required school work?

I guess that depends on your curriculum and why you home school. There were plenty of ABeka writing assignments that I skipped--especially the "creative" writing assignments. We worked hammer and tongs on grammar and composition, even if times the composition part was theoretical only. I focused on giving him the tools of writing.

For example, before I asked him to write a thesis statement for himself, we spent a lot of time identifying other writers' thesis statements. Same thing with topic sentences, different genres, voices, and author purposes.

I did require writing, but we took a different approach. I taught him how to outline his reading in various subjects. Then, after he had outlined an assignment, I had him re-write his outline in his own words. In this way, we accomplished much. He was learning to write by building on the "bones" of another writer. He was learning to identify important elements of organization. He was interacting with the content of his curricula in a way that helped him both learn and review. He hardly knew he was writing. I deliberately stayed entirely away from creative writing while he practiced the basics of all good writing.

During this time he was also reading a great deal and I was reading to him. We talked about plot and literary devices and vocabulary choices while we were reading together. He got used to the language of writing and reading.

Then one day, he found that he had things to say and the tools with which to say them.

That's the best way I can describe it. Oh, and to make writing less threatening and overwhelming when he was in the grammar stage, I told him over and over that "we write things down because we have something to say and we want to save it for later. We write them down carefully because we want other people to understand why we wanted to save them!"

Kim from Hiraeth

Connie said...

kim: We've used ABeka grammar from the "get-go" and it has been great! But I must admit that we have LABORED through the creative writing portions--me being the diligent teacher-type who won't allow skipped assignments/pages, etc.

I think I'll ditch the ABeka creative writing portions (oh my!) and go back to "Writing Strands" which seemed to be more managable and enjoyable for everyone involved!

I GREATLY appreciate your insights and ideas!!!